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Spott House

Country House (19th Century)

Site Name Spott House

Classification Country House (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Doon Hill

Canmore ID 57694

Site Number NT67NE 86

NGR NT 67906 75287

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2023.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish Spott (East Lothian)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County East Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NT67NE 86.00 67906 75287

(NT 67905 75287 Spott House (NAT)

OS 6" map (1957)

Externally, Spott House is mid-19th century, but it incorporates an older mansion in which tradition says that Oliver Cromwell slept after the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. It may also be the house visited by James VI in February 1595.

J Hardy 1882

Spott House has been considerably modernised and shows, externally, no evidence of the earlier structure. The estate of Spott dates back to 1296, when Elias de Spot swore fealty to Edward I. At one time the house was surrounded by a moat (Reminiscences and Notes of Ten Parishes of the County of Haddington 1894) of which there is now no trace. Visited by OS (RD) 25 March 1966

Spott House occupies an excellent site, on a SW spur of Doon Hill, naturally moated by a fork in the Spott Burn; but this has been culverted on the W side, possibly before 1830, when William Burn recast the building. The W (entrance) front is all Burn's except for the block to the N which he crowned with two crowstepped gables and prolonged with an entrance bay and a Jacobean doorpiece. Spott has been diversely occupied since the 13th century and the other fronts hint at a complex history. However, the only characteristic early details are the chamfers of the 17th century windows in the N block, which has a later roof. The S block, founded on massive under-building, some of whose lower chambers are built up, has round turrets of the 17th century or earlier. Burn completely transformed the interior, though there is still a 17th century turnpike stair.

C McWilliam 1978

Architecture Notes

NT67NE 86.00 67906 75287

NT67NE 86.01 67775 75005 Kennels

NT67NE 86.02 67783 75006 Kennels

NT67NE 86.03 67917 75256 Chapel

NT67NE 86.04 67920 75242 Game Larder

NT67NE 61 67511 75595 Dovecot

NT67NE 116 67465 75571 Lodge

NT67NE 117.00 67963 75233 Coachhouse and Stables

NT67NE 119.00 67940 75197 Spott Home Farm


OWNER: James Sprott.

ARCHITECT: William Burn 1830.


National Library

Small's "Castles & Mansions of the Lothians" - article and photograph.


Strip And Record (10 October 2021)

NT 67830 75350 (centred) Monitored ground-breaking works were undertaken on 10 October 2021, prior to the construction of a new tennis court at Spott House, Dunbar.

A monitored topsoil strip was undertaken on a land parcel within the historic designed landscape of Spott House. The archaeological monitored topsoil strip revealed a simple stratigraphy of improved topsoil directly overlying sandy subsoil. No archaeologically significant features or material was observed during these works. Archive: NRHE (intended)

Funder: East Lothian Council

Suzanne Swan – AOC Archaeology Group

(Source: DES Vol 22)


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